tv Garrison Nelson John William Mc Cormack CSPAN October 22, 2017 1:01pm-2:16pm EDT
many of these events are open to public. look for them to air in the near future on booktv on c-span2. okay. thank you all for joining us this evening. despite what looks like some pretty miserable weather outside. it's nice to see familiar faces in the audience and new face us for anyone who this is their first visit tohartal society, i'd like to welcome you. we are an independent nonproves organization. we have an amazing library with over 13 million manuscripts, including papers of the three of the first six u.s. presidents.
we offer a tremendous number of programs can including programs like this evening, which is a public program as well as programs for academic oddens and programs for educators. we provide all this material, our collectiones, our programs, and our online resources, to the public. many of which we provide for free. and we do this thanks the support of members and donors. so if you are not a member or supporter of the mass historical society i hope you'll consider becoming a member or supporter and help us provide the resource. tonight we have a great program. first hear from garrison nelson. the elliott a. brown green and gold prefer of law, politics pod political behavior at the university of vermont. start width a 30 to 35 minute preparation, describing story of two men from boston, john mccormack and david miles. rose from rags to riches.
so, they both were from large, poor families, very limited formal education, re-vein end helicopters we mccormick backing more irish bit dispo as of his canadaan scot father and niles took his younger brother's birthday and adopting the surname of a wasp classmate from high school. niles was an operative in progress politics. mccorporal yack mad a congressional free from 1928 through 1970 and including becoming the house majority leader and then speaker of the house. nile rose as a political strategist, serving a adviser to two u.s. presidents. they created foundation of the
dem democratic party. following professor nelson's exploration we'll have a conversation on he legacy of niles and mccormack with michael dukakis, neats little bro duke, u.s. army veteran, harvard law graduate, the 65th 65th and 67th governor of massachusetts and democratic nominee for president of the neutz 1988. he is now a distinguished professor of political science at northeastern university and a visiting professor at the school of public affairs at ucla. he will be join by peter drumming, a u.s. army veteran, a graduate of columbia university, and has work at the massachusetts historical society since 1978. he is now the citien t. riley librarian for mhs. we are placed to coresponsible the northeastern university political science department for
a brief greeting i'm happy to turn the mic over to bill mayer before he turns out to garrison nelson. >> excuse me for having doved my dote but it was hot. other like to say on behalf of the near political signs depth we're delight ode cosponsor this event. one of my very first academic conferences, i met a guy named garrison nelson, and he really is one of the great people in our profession. sewso with that in mine, and i'm also delighted to be a colleague of michael dukakis, who is really one of the great gems in our department. so, thank you for coming. [applause] >> okay. here we are, the two.
>> this photograph which nobody knows where it came from. nobody knows who took the photograph or when it was taken or where it was taken. but as both of the photographs of john mccormack always look like he had a foot in the grave because by the time he became speaker he looked very, old. the other one was joyous when i sent him this photograph. this is david niles. encapsulated the worth nondescript. and that was the plan. he wanted to be as nondescript as possible. and it worked. well, a unique combination of each of the men if met with john
mccormack in 1968. i just hired by the university of vermont as a 26-year-old instructor and whereas at a national meeting of the american political science organization in washington, dc and i was writing my dissertation on leaders of the house of representatives. it was labor day weekend if went up to the hill and the place was empty. said, well, went to speak speaker's -- the speaker's office, and i said i'm writing my dock doral desert addition on leader of the house there is anyone i can speak to been john mccormack, and he said, would you like to talk to john mccormack? i said, yes. so of course i was escorted to john's office. beautiful office, wonderful chandelier, very -- and i sat down just the two of us, and so i said, mr. speaker, i have one simple question for you, how did
you get on the ways and means committee in only your third year? he said, it was record. i said, i know it was a record. how did it happen? he said, well, i went to talk to speaker. the the speaker was known as cactus jack, and so john wanted -- john was on two lousy committees. territory commit. from south boston. and the second committee was elects number three. i said how was that committee? he said, don't know. we never met. i wanted to be on the judiciary committee. so he goes to connor and connor says, john, where the hell you been? we want you to chair the caucus. he flabbergasted. he said how would you luck luke to be on ways comments commuteey, the singed most committee in the hong. rites al the tax legislation. constitutional, revenue power to
the house and the house fifths the revenue power to the ways and minnesotas commit 'er, and furmer more at that time the ways and means -- democrats made the committee assignments for all of the other democrats but had to be elected the committee. cop nor says i'll get the texans to volt for you and you get billy connery to blow his nose aft you. said, billy coppery? he said, yes. his from my home town? i'm from lynn, massachusetts. we have a school named for billy connerry. a legion post. john reaches into this desk and pulls out a cigar and he hands me the cigar. we have now bonded over billy connery. and the two of us, puffing cigars, he is 76, i'm 26. this is what you call a -- he is a seminal moment in my life. in any case, i ended up compiling seven thousand page volumes of congressional
committee assignments which you can do in vermont because i don't skate. so plenty of time. and a strange way to spend my professional career. but i kept wanting to return to the mccormack project. every finished the first two volume odd the committees project, 1995, and i went down and convinced two hot shots, one in wisconsin and one at m.i.t. to take over the historical part of the committee's project. gave them all my dat data and photocopies and so on. i had been approached by a wonderful friend from texas named tomey sham page page, who was a authority on sam rayburn, said lute do a book on the austin-boston connection. we agreed to do it, couple of other co-authors and now i'm going to talk with eddie mccormack. and i -- so -- the speaker at
this putting gingrich is speaker so i said to eddie, are people can tag bet speakership in in n he said no, they only call me when they want me to crap on ted kennedy but not anymore. so that was -- that part of the conversation. said i'm going to write a chapter on your uncle, called the austin-boston connection help said write a book on my uncle. and i'm not sure there's enough there. and he said, well, we sat and talked and really was trying to convince me. well, apparentlies was the seventh person he approached about writing a book on john mccormack. so eddie hoped that this book about his uncle would be a bette seller. that was -- a best several. that was the hope. they all turned edey down
because he wanted to goes-write but eddie was dying of cancer and would give me six boxes of materials that he had withheld from the boston university collection of the archives. so i got six bankers boxes filled. much of it was jump but enough of it was fascinating and i'll show you two documents from that tonight. so, i started writing the book and i approached 11 publishers. this man is boring. i said i know he's boring helps would deliberately boring because he was conceiving a great secret. so, ox for turned me down 2007, harvard turn me down in all of seven minutes. pretty quick. i had no false illusions then. and one publisher after another and finally i did a become on the supreme court, the young
editor, went to black bury and brought the book with it. bloomsbury is a beautiful british publisher and i was in their office. i said we open harry potter. so learning that i said, these checks will clear. so that was very encouraging. so now here we are, these two gentlemen, when walter general wrote a review of my book, the title of the argument was called the most secretive man in washington. that's overstated. the cia operators. john head in plain sight. and this is a quote from his joe feeney, his last and major assistant, quote, as you know, the speaker has never permitted any books to be written, quoting him with reference to any of his years in service and he will not
permit any pie -- biographs. and this is in news magazine article from the "saturday evening post." almost nobody in the capitol knows mccormack as at well. long ago drew a curtain around his private affairs. john was going to hide, basically, but john hid in plain sight. david niles is another story. this is an article from mr. truman's mystery man. that's how he was nope. nobody knew much about him, either. so, now hidden among the white house staff, seldom gave interviews, and lived in boston, basically he would run for him on sunday night, take the train go do to washington, work in
washington on monday and tuesday and then good up to new york on wednesday, which thursday, and catch play on thursday go back to boston on friday. listen to the symphoniy on saturday. run the ford haul forum and then go back to washington. he lived in hotel it. nobody knew where he was, and this is the famous remark, about assistants to the president should have a passion for aknock it in. now as the chief assistant he said he had a mania for anonymity. he was hiding -- john was hiding in plain sight, david niles just hid. who are these two guys? now, niles was david k. -- mccormack and nagles were born into large families their catholic maccormacks and the jewish nagles, and the junior
anywayingle started off in the north spend end up in roxbury and the mock corporal macs spent their time in south boston. now, neither graduated high school. john mccormack's last year of formal education was the eight inside grade at the john a. andrew grammar school. david niles last formal school was boston latin school, but he finished the curriculum but was recommend for a diploma. 0 these two men were dealing with people with multiple degrees and college browns and there they were, the least educated men in the meetings they would hold. now, john mccormack's family was much more poor than niles. faced devastating poverty and early death that would claim
five of his siblings. the family moved from place to place because of the poverty. day ahead of the landlord two days ahead of the sheriff. between 1887 and 1909, the mccolonel knacks lived in 17 different places. so a butch of other miss they'd lived between this times they were recorded. the niles family was much nor table, only throw places. niles family was working class, which is father warts a tailor, his mother a seamstress. >> he was nine years as speaker. david niles was the longest serving presidential assistant hi serve for nine years from 1942 to 1951 under both presidents roosevelt and truman.
in order to achieve these goals they'd ha to -- john is going to reinvent himself. get this. so john's mother, mary ellen o'bryan mccormack, a child of irish immigrant parents, father was from cork, and she was born in boston, not in ireland. this is yesterday where i mccormack, fills out the death certificate of john and you can see his birthplace of john's father, ireland, birth place of his mother, ireland, both are untrue. so, mccormack family still argues with me.this. now, the second wife of joe mccormack, canadian fronts prince island. joe's first wife died of typhoid fever put she had a son, henry,
who was sent back to canada to live with joe's older sister, kate. now, joe returns to boston and he will mary mary ellen. now, mary ellen is only -- a brother patrick. her parents names were michael o'bryan and julia. mary ellen would be pregnant 12 times. suffering four miscarriages and had eight live births two died as infants, six loved long enough to be enumerated by the census, john was the fourth older of the survivors, all three children older than john would die of tb. james as 16, katherine at 19, and patrick at 24. five of her children predeceased her by the time she died in 1913 at the aim of 52. james is buried in watertown's cemetery, and the o'bryan family
gravesite and katherine and patrick are buried alongside their mother and youngest brother in mt. benedict cemetery. none of the names of the three siblings are engraved tom tombstones, john chose not to memorialize these three siblings. this is once again -- part of the reinvention, john told the word he was only the of them and him and his brother, edward, better known as -- and the other brothers, donald. known as buttons. now, why? this is why. he had to get past these people. these are the gatekeepers of irish boston. john fitzgerald of the northed
end, honey fitz. patrick j. kennedy of east bon and the prince of thieves, james michael curley from rocks bury. these are the guys. they all had irish parents, irish parents, they all had fathers who died young, and they all had younger siblings, john's got a problem. problem is, he's got a canadian father. he's got an abandoned mother and older siblings. bibi the time he puts together the life history he was molded exactly to fit the dimensions of the individual. the gatekeepers the gatekeep dope know much about hill. they know he grew up in andrews square and don't have to be told that he had poor -- a tough background. they don't need to good for andrew square to fine that out. now let's look at the documents again. this is mary el help's birth
certificate. mary o'bryan, parents michael and jewel la. notice something. this document was requested january 18, 1962. this is requested by eddie maccormack. nine days earlier john was sworn in as speaker of the house. eddie was planning to run for the unexpired term of jack kennedy, of course, who was elected president, and two years remaining. so eddie wants to fan out the family history. this finds out his grandmother, these are the parents of his grandmother. now, here's the next document. this is also in eddie's files that he gave me. notice that it says, the father is born prince edward island and mother born in boston. he was not born in ireland.
so eddie is paying fast and loose with the family history but in effort to make the family as irish as possible. now, this is mary ellen's death. her death -- the name patrick o'bryan and bridget daily. what heaped to michael and julia? well, they're beth from ireland. well, turns out patrick o'bryan is her brother's name. and bridget daly -- by the way, this is the shortened version of -- not the 140 slides that would have didn't john mccormack, the movie. but brig daly was a neighborhood lady of mary ellen and her son, bernard, was baptized the same
day by the same priest, and it's three lines separate them in the archdiocese records that i was able to track down before they moved them. well, notice up there, it says, married. married. john has told everybody his father died when john was 13, which would have been 1905. this is eight years later and says married. why mary? pause john knows his father is still alive. how does he know that? because joe's sister is alive and living in st. fields corner in dorchester. soon -- love john, so aunt sarah knows her brother is still alive. but as far as john and younger byes are concern, dad is dead to them. but nevertheless he will not put down that his mother was a widow because he knowed she was not a widow at the time of her death.
this all gets taken place by the time heat 21. john will now pass the bar exam this year, and this is when he completes the reinvention, got rid of his father, got two irish names. he notices bridget daly is irish and is dead so putting her name on it is not a big problem. so he completed his reinvention bus had to get a law degree, law death is made possible by his mentor and wonderful lawyer by the named of william way from plymouth. a untarean and a catholic recording and a democrat running from republican town, plymouth. run ford office four times and loses four timed billum may introduced john to charles ennis, and he has an uncanny knack for anticipating bar exam questions. we know what that is.
buying questions and selling answers. charlie has gotten 900 people thank you the bar exam, one of which is john mccormack. john is the last one to pass the bar without going to high school because the changed the law the following year now. a lawyer. a very good lawyer. a very good defense lawyer. so, i had to explain to people, what kind of lawyer? not writing trusts or wills. he is defending crooks and criminals. defending his neighbors and friends. now, where is joe? daddy takes off. daddy -- now two of the children are dying. james is dying, and katherine -- they beth die a year after joe leaves the house. dying of tuberculosis so joe gets out and take offered for maine and end up in a town which is a small protestant town on the edge of the atlantic, and
that is where joe will be. well, i tracked down joe. and joe was -- john said that joe tied when john was 13. actually joe died when john was 37. a bit of a discrepancy there. now, what happened, the old man take offered to med itch go up to maine and i want to find out. go to the funeral home would joe was buried and asked the funeral director do you 1/2 ledgers in i want to know if john basically had paid for the old man's funeral. now, how die know joe went maine? i know because sarah's granddaughter wrote to eddie mccormack about meeting joe. i almost had to hyperventilate when read the letter a condolence letter. remember middling your
grandfather. how could she? he is dead. he came down from maine. well, so went up to calked to the fume recall director, and he said, -- i said, do you have a letter with john -- ledger with john's check in the said, 0, no, the funeral director was loan shark and he had two set's of books when i bought the business, and he burn them beth. so much for that. well, i said, well, where is he bury yesterday? this is catholic. i checked with all the catholic churches. none of them buried joe mccormack, said who buried system a methodist minister. so much for the mass. so, i said where is he buriy? 'd tame you there, a rural cemetery. i said what's there? that's where we buried the
paupers. so i said this funeral director took john's money to bury joe decently and then taken the up toes money to dump him into pauper's grave. no surprise. so john -- not a lot of respect for joe's -- joe said not a lot of respect for john's deceased siblings, either, because the named are not endescribed on tombstones either. a side note on sandbag. the first death circuit was of james mccormack. he died in mt. auburn, waterton. called the mt. auburn cemetery and said, look north gravesite of james mccormack. and see foes to the computer and says i can't find him. she says was he catholic? i said, yes: well, not bury yesterday here. okay, so, she said go over --
sandbags. a small cemetery, good over there and talk to the people over there. so i good over and get this poor, sad ledger, fall eight part, and it's -- falling apart and my great grandfather from county mayo helped us, so we find him there and then find the location of james mccormack's burial. and an old timer says, who are are you going to see there? i feel a chill in the air. what will you see the wall the protestants built to keep us from them. so i go and i've got this directions to. and i see this strange looking tombstone, kind of an oblong, very different, and i see the wall. the wall is more than ten feet high and a foot plus thick. a fortress wall to keep the catholic dead from migrating
into the protestant dead in mt. auburn. this is clearly to make sure that never occurred. a sad old cemetery, and had been closed for quite some years. this where is james mccormack was buried. the other two children buried in rocks bury but the names on the tomb storm -- the four names basically mary ellen, donald, the youngest brother, who tied in texas, and katherine and patrick. but catherine and patrick's names are not on the tombstone. john knew they were there he was there. and 18 feet away what's murphy tombstone little it that's names of patrick, catherine, and james. name offed hi deceased siblings and two of murphy children died as infants and one was buried
1913 their same year his mother. john gets the last piece of the palestine sol make me reinvention -- puzzle to make the reinvention, to tighten it up. john reinvents himself. and now, john -- the an would seed in boston was if you weren't a pure enough -- pilgrim descendent and did not good to harvard, you weren't going to there so the irish root was to have the irish descent and the widowed mother and the younger siblings but he had none of those. but by the time he got the reinvention he did and was able to succeed in boston. and he seeded in boston because he hat protestant mentors. and mccormack family got -- didn't he have catholic mentors in no. he had protestant men you're two rich and two poor. the poors wered with to as swamp
yankees and they were william way and jolly andersen and then the other two were boston brohmon, members of the historical society itch one of the names on the wall. henly lee shattuck, and so we have the photo here. this is the news clipping about joe mccormack's death and funeral. now, go to john first and then back to niles. 25 years old, john is elect, as you can see the middle of second row, good looking guy and the state constitutional convention ex-the guy above him is augustus laurie. we are not talking about a minor -- this is a guy who wrote a book on trusts which is still
in print, still in print, as late as 2012 and is chairman of the committee and mccormack -- the clerks and the others are lawyer, with degrees from harvard and john, the eighth grade education but on this committee, john becomes the boston brohmon's favorite irishman himself never plays the irish card because he can't. so, henry lee shattuck, who is very fond of john, and shattuck will adopt john in the statehouse, and is a -- you remember john sears. met with john sears on beacon hill, and john has this piano. there's 18 pocks on the piano help says aim in after book he
pulls out the become on shattuck and reads a couple of paragraphs to me and in these paragraphs there's a scandal on the boston elevated rail warp in which a lot of corruption taking place and the legislators have to investigate. shattuck asked -- looked around for people to serve with him on the committee. nobody wants to serve on the committee. buddies on the take. the only one is john mccormack, and john says, a map must do his duty and serve the public. at this point -- oops -- okay. i'm running late. sorry. and so at this point sears says to me, that's yankee speaking. that's a yankee speaking, and of course, shattuck would support john and when john left the house he was replaced by a man who became shattuck's new protege. now, john married harriet, eight
years older. john liaises the marriage license and says he was ten years -- adds ten years to his age to two years older than she, being very noble. here's this first campaign for congress in 1928. which he wins. replacing the dough ceased jim galvin. now, david niles. niles now is change naming to anytime, a time men we movie business when in fact of the 12 great movie moguls in 1920s, 11 were jews, nine born in europe and eight changed their names so david niles followed suit and becomes niles and the name he gets -- okay. from a classmate -- well, once again, this is the apreviousated version -- a classmate named nathaniel niles mo is at boston latin with him and anytime was an olympic, national figure
skating champion and national tennis champion. a high risk but takes the name because he knows this is what he has to do to make it. well, i think -- yeah. here's niles. he said -- took his brother max's birth date and is two years younger, and he worked -- his major source of power. the fbi file says he's a protege -- motion picture protege of joe kennedy. the answer is, notice. talk to buying -- biographers ad it was not true. now, here's the problem with niles. the man he is sitting with is a man who found brandeis university, david niles told the man, the following story: that
he was born in 1890, a polish part of russia, brought to in the united states in 1891, the family was -- the name was changed, a wonderful story, only problem is, david's father was in the states in 1879. 16 years old. he married his wife in boston. he doesn't mary her in russia. david is not born in 1890. he was born in 1888. the family doesn't come from russia with a small baby, which i'd love the story which i used it in my become because i believe abraham and you can see this is the body language here is rather unique. obviously sacca wanted to come close to niles and niles tilting himself back.
so niles cook up a life history because he hat a secret to conceal. his secret was he was gay. and this is a time in american history where the anti-sod my legislation, and it was revealed if your were gay, not only would you loser job, you could go to jail. and so david niles basically threw his much stuff he possibly could into the sort of the -- what would be the closest thing to a biography, the redemption of the unwanted. now, here's when niles gets involved in presidential politics. this is in 1924. progressive campaign with senator robert faulk of wisconsin, and senator wheeler of montana.
niles this media guy. we have a photograph now. wheeler and mccormack meet. in the office of jim curley. and niles -- jim curley i impress with mccormack, young congressman and has access to political patronage. well, niles becomes -- miles works an the al something i campaign and then othe roosevelt campaign, and when roosevelt gets -- here's -- roosevelt gets elected, john mccormacking brought into the oval office and this is 1933. roosevelt has been in office, what, less than two weeks, and he brings in his congressman, john john maccormack. john is on the ways and means committee, does matter, on the far left -- for right is adolph,
a jewish immigrant, good friend of maccolonel mac. next to him is tom collins from number and then next to them is john o'connor who is a man that they all despised. john o'connor was from massachusetts, went to harvard law, but john o'connor was in congress and was living open live with his mistress which bothered john mccormack who had dinner with his wife every night for 51 years. he was not happy to have a catholic -- fellow catholic being unfaithful to his wife. now, here'sy john becomes really -- stepped up. this is a -- john mccormack on the floor of the house denouncing adolph hitler. only in power four month but mccolonel make is hearing from his jewish constituents what
hitler is doing. he attacked hitler on the house, and this brought him to the commit you're nazi propaganda. and he is on the -- what underdon't know is sam is on the payroll of the soviet embassy and nope in the soviet embassy as crook. so, john doesn't know that. but the committee is very important but a is reveals the businessman's plot to overto the fdr which never took place. now, now here's the man who is going to make the big difference in david niles' life, hear hopkins, social work, from under, born in ireland, had known fdr in new york and fdr had great confidence in -- niles
impresses hopkins by make sugar that jim curley doesn't run away with any federal money and so he will bring niles to washington as his key associate on the wpa. which of course my parents were employed by them. quite sure many of your relatives were -- i hope were a wpa employee. in any case, going to work with harry hopkins. and hari harry is made sect of -- secretary of congress, he is convinced that jack conner, some of the other cabinet members he doesn't trust but does trust hopkins and wants to make hopkins secretary of commerce, give him more cachet, this is the hope. and niles will john him in the commerce department they've do public opinion polls side and out nobody knows hopkins and
care busy him and the candidate si and was put aside. i said, how did you get roost vote necessary south, huh? i said who did it. >> gene cox. >> goober cox? >> ey, we were pals. so i said poker at, harry truman, future chief justice, fewer president, future speaker, playing poker together. he said that's wonderful, who sam rayburn in the didn't play cards help maded the sandwiches. so, this is a 1941, mccormack in 194, 1 the pieces of legislation. gets lend lease through the house of representatives.
gets the draft extension act for the house -- with 203 to 201. one single vote to get the exact revision of the neutrality act. the middle of the year, john of mississippi, raging antisemite, raging racist, makes a speech sort of intimating that the jews are trying to get abuse a war, to save england. well, this congressman here, from new york, infurrating and gives this speech, a one speech defending the jews, and a big round of applause, and he is walking off the roster, he collapsed and dies on the floor of the house. mccormack is so infuriated he grabs ranks and shaked him and says you and your damned inpersonal crisis. john could blow up.
another -- somebody says to johnert why do you have so many jews around you? and john grabs him by hiscourt and throws him to ground. hard to believe. this is a chart on political science. this is joe kennedy, john mccormack and harry truman in the appointmented calendar of roosevelt. you notice, joe kennedy, disappears in 1940. 1940, fdr went -- joe kennedy gives an interview to boston globe saying democracies done in europe and probably didn't here as well and fdr shuts him out and joe kennedy loses his position of influence with fdr and john mccorporal manage -- mccormack can goes fdr's favorite irishman, and look our infrequently fdr meets with
harry truman. didn't know him well. this is circulated in boston naval yard and this is a -- the old majority leader, john mccormack, rabbi of the jews and john was known as rabbi john,. and he is very close to the jews. now, here is meeting with fdr, fdr just came back from tehran tehran, first meeting with stalin. and austin is acting minority leader and graduate of the university oft vermont. here's the other big news out of the 1944, this is the atomic bomb. atomic bomb is being funded secretly and ran out of money, so fdr sends simpson and
secretary of war, george marshall, and vanderbilt, the kid from everett, to meet with mccormack, joe martin, and sam rayburn and these two guys, the keepers of the money, john tabor on the left, and clarence cannon on the right who run the protections -- the appropriations committee. they have a wonderful relationship. cannon punches tabor at one point. this ohio harry truman getted the job. henry wallace is not a popular choice but he is from iowa, not a southerner, so he doesn't -- not a city guy, not a southern guy and they're going to dump henry wallace and here we have harry truman and john mccormack plotting to dump henry wallace chill succeed and truman getted the nomination. david niles has been urged by roosevelt to meet with wallace
the he's likely to cost million two million votes in the 1944 election and discourage him from running for renomination. fdr dies, john on the far right is there at the swearing in of harry truman. here's niles. 1947, david niles receivedded the medal of merit from harry truman. david niles is the guy with a jews in blocks in the administration, special assistant for minorities. basically a march on washington, just see that the anything degree americans are trying to get the ear of harry truman and the ear is given to them by notice. niles and the guy makes it possible for them to make their case for the practices commission year and dee segregating the army and this is what happened. they desegregate the army in 1948. thanks to david niles, and the blacks -- remember, blacks were
committed to the republican party. the first 23 members of the house of representatives who were black were republicans, one of a black democrat elected to house until 1935. so, consequently, blacks are not a firm constituency in the democratic party. niles make is them this by desegregating the army and keep the blacks in the democratic party. the jews are tempted to leave the democratic part and for with henry wallace. harry truman it's baptist kid from a small town in missouri. what does he know about jewish issues? what happens, david niles and max blumenthal, they basically push for the recognition of israel, and israel gets recognized, the first nation recognized israel is the united states and the first person called by harry truman is david niles. so, the jews remain in the democratic party the blacks
remain in the democratic party and harry truman is able to win all 12 of the nation's largest cities and retape the white house in 1948 thanks to david niles. the first black committee chairman in the house of representatives. this is john mccormack. he steps aside at a senior member of the committee so the man, william dawson from chicago can being the first black chair of a congressional committee. so both guys are working hard to diffuse prejudice. this is the swearing in of -- inaugural. there's harry and john, in 1963 john john mccormack will sit behind lynn john johnson, five days after the death of john expand we pass the 25th
25th amendment to the constitution too make sure these two guys never, ever become president of the united states. so, here we go. this is niles, this is niles giving a polaroid camera to margaret truman. niles worked the daughters and wives of people he wished to impress. now, women have a clearer -- better data than men do and notice is gay, no sexual tension, and so he engray shaded himself with he wifes and daughters and gave wonderful perfume and wonderful letters back. niles would -- the late '40s and '50s, deal wig the cold wore and the question is anticommunisms has now taken root and their going after david niles. and senator joseph mccarthy says he has tappingible -- --
tang illinois means to do this strike the white house through david niles, niles has back target. the fbi starts increasing scrutiny and read of the reference of niles being communist and black and being gay, and so they're going after niles, and now finally resigns, man 1951 and especially option to visit the new state of israel. truman would like -- truman antis his resignation. sorry you're leaving i hope you can come barge the final fbi report. no alwayses based on fact. of niles membership in the democratic party -- communist party never received. accusations now be no evidence. this is a enemy know prom the first director to the cia that niles was a security risk, and as a security risk, he will not be allowed to leave the country. he was only kept around because
he placated the jewish crowd and said that truman turned the papers over. whether that it true i don't know. this what they will contend in order to justify not labeling niles as the security risk. niles was denied an exit visa and will die on september 28, 1952. and this is the letter that harry truman writes him served two presidents of the out in positions hive highest truss and confidence. sell bill we one so truly selfless hitch passion for anonymity is matched only by hi sings don't public responsibility. david niles will always in the service of humanity. one of gratest wishes was denied him. his wish to visit israel, heirs -- and like moses, david niles gets to the promised land. david its gone. this is john mccormack, great follow harry truman. notice a familiar face, lyndon johnson, the new majority whip
in the senate. now 1952, the end of the story here, this is basically -- john mccormack's least favorite member of the house was jack kennedy. mccormack held jack kennedy in a remark called minimal high regard but talked to bob hilyer of the globe and he said john mccormack had no respect for jack but but was scared of joe kennedy. he was going to help jack become u.s. senator by diffusing the question busy joe kennedy's antisim tim and he tell as are so how jack saved an appropriations of israel which was not quite true but worked, and it got jack the votes in the ward, and basically helped hip get elected over henry cabot lodge, jr. so, november 22, 1963.
massachusetts house of representatives when john mccormack was serving as speaker of the house in the u.s. congress. so there is a wonderful overlap, just us a our speaker has a personal recollection of meeting speaker mccormack. i wonder, governor, if you have any personal recollectionsr mccs influence when he was speaker. >> i do and i'm halfway through the book. let me tell you, it's a great book. hold on. let me begin by saying, love history. i never read fiction because the real thing is a hell of a lot more interesting. and i love new england and massachusetts history particularly. one of the reasons i am having
such a great time with the book. but by the time i got into the mast house, which is 1963, john mccormack was -- i don't what to say a lemming jeopardy. he was there, part of things. but of national figure who was not atley deeply involved in the kind 0 politics i was involve in. you have to understand when i was elected for the first time in 1962, that was two years after jack kennedy was elected president and made his famous city of a hill speech, the governor of the state was one of the three or four most corrupt in the country. in fact when i was ringing doorbells in brookine, people would say you look honest. and was that bad? i finally called new mother and
said, mommening i just want to thank you for producing a kid who at least looks honest. and i was one of a butch of younger reformers. democrats and republicans alike who spend the next eight years trying to clean the place up. mccormack by the time was not only a national figure but really wasn't deeply involved in the politics we were. i think he was respected. we respected him. but there wasn't a closeness there. of the kind, for example, that i and others have with ted kennedy. and we were -- i think it's fair to say, part of a newer generation, although we respected the speaker. after all the guy was the speaker. i was saying to -- what strike
mist about the book -- we're in an interesting period in the american history, stretch guy in the white house, the world is in crisis. being the majority leader. most people would ball as well and how mccormick, among others was trying to deal with this pick on the one hand, deeply concerned about what was going on. and i think the connection was important because it was a time
when jews were being annihilated. gassed and executed and so forth. trying to work with roosevelt who clearly believed the us should enter, but faced with isolationist in the congress who were adamantly opposed to any intervention was a very very tough period, and you can't help reading the book without i think admiring the fact that mccormick among others first had an interesting world view. i think it's fair to say characteristic of a lot of the democrats at the time i was involved with, deeply concerned about what was happening and way for what he thought was an essential role
in the united states and stopping this madman in europe from taking over and again, i didn't-- i'm sure i met speaker mccormick vocationally saw him a party gatherings in that kind of stuff, but i was one of these young guys trying to reform the democratic farm-- party of massachusetts grading an organization called the commonwealth organization of democrats and we are fighting the party regulars who were not happy with guys like me, so mccormick by the time i got there it was with a respected figure, obviously. the guy becomes speaker. but, not someone that i and the younger democrats so-called reform democrats looked at as a
person to go to for leadership. a lot of the reform stuff was pretty much kind of on our own and we just didn't think about mccormick as someone who-- we respected him, but we didn't pick of him as someone to look to for guidance on this kind of thing. eddie mccormick, his nephew, however, was someone with whom i was quite close. in fact, if the truth be known although ted and i became close i voted for mccormick over kennedy in the democratic nominating a session. y? well, because i thought ted should run for the legislature and maybe start a little slow. eddie mccormick had become a
very impressive attorney general very pro- civil rights, civil liberties, not something that many of the irish democrats in boston were. in fact there was a kind of strong-- you talk about it in terms of father cost: and the irish support that he had in boston was kind of center-- interesting. mostly republicans in the legislature who were the champions of civil liberties. of the aclu, it was a very interesting--
>> can i ask one more question of the both of you and we talked about these two really interesting people who essentially indented their back story both for reasons to advance their careers, but i wonder if this isn't something that perhaps more difficult, i mean, i learned from this book john mccormick had an aide, doctor martin tribe-- schreiber and one of the crimes he was accused of committing was unlawful person nation, so that's the extreme example of this, but isn't this with our ability to investigate someone's back story today is no one could be they build-- david niles today and take over the name of the person who sat next to you and school and change your date of birth and never have
essentially act as a important aid in the white house for two presidents seems completely impossible, but i was thinking that maybe this is more common than we might suspect. >> wikipedia. >> of course. >> marty-- i saw him imitate john mccormick's voice when i went into that office for the very first time. phone rang, marty came over to the desk and took the phone out of her hand and said, speaker mccormick. so, the receptionist rolled her eyes and the secretary behind her eyes roles and i realize this is a fairly common practice
, which is what he did. he ended up in jail for influence peddling and-- but richard who tried the case, famous attorney in public corruptions and so i interviewed him at length and in his book he says, i couldn't not understand why john mccormick was never outraged at how marty tribe disrupted his office and took advantage of mccormick's friendship and i wrote in my book, the code of south boston, friends don't send friends to jail and i think that accounts for why mccormick never reacted negatively to him. >> governor, mi correct in thinking, i mean, in political ambition, that sort of if not creating, but sort of shaping
your back history to make yourself the person, the public that it may be-- these are extreme examples, but something we might actually see as more common in public life? >> i saw very little of this. with one possible exception. in 1986, when i was running for governor the fourth time, third time for reelection successfully and one quite easily, republican party was having a tough time finding people to run against me. they started with a guy whose name escapes me-- sorry. i used to be pretty good. sign of advancing age. but, he was caught streaking through an office building. [laughter] >> without any close on about
7:00 a.m., so he was out. [laughter] he was succeeded by state representative from wellesley-- what the hell is his name? very conservative kind of bombastic who would make speeches on the floor of the house about what it was like to be in vietnam and fighting the commies and sullen and so forth and i think he had himself as a lieutenant by captain took turns out he was a sergeant who had never been close to vietnam and didn't serve in vietnam. now, that was very unusual. of course, he didn't last two minutes and finally, the guy that got the nomination was george who was a friend of mine and had been a client of mine. before he became secretary of economic affairs, so we had a--
his running mate was a greek, so three out of the four were greek americans, but i don't think you could possibly get away with that now. one interesting note, i don't think i ever met david niles, but his younger brother who we knew as billy, but who garrison tells me real name was wolf, name for his grandfather. billy was kind of always around the state house coming around the place. pretty slick dresser. kind of a, you know i thought maybe and asked prizefighter, you know, had this kind of-- i had no idea what he did. [laughter]
other than kind of being friendly and since i came from berkemeyer, heavy jewish population related to me even though i was kind of a religious curiosity, what was a greek doing in brooklyn. no one could understand. you have to understand, folks, the ethnic politics of this one overwhelming. i had greeks come to me and say you are nice guy, but you can't possibly win a statewide office as a greek. you are just breaking ground. maybe for my kid somewhat-- sunday. real literally. but, niles was an interesting character. not only did we find-- and he was around and seemed to be there all the time. i don't know how he made a living, but he was a pretty slick dresser. i remember he had these interesting double-breasted suits. i don't think i ever met his
brother, but i certainly knew about his role in the recognition of israel and that was a big thing when i was a guest in high school at the time before i went off to college. whatever happened to billy? do we know? >> i have no idea. he's the only person i knew that new billy and niles. so, i would like to talk to more to mr. buckley about willie niles who was another man of mystery whose source of income was mysterious. you see now david now was not descriptive as possible and one woman said to him david, you cannot be inconspicuous all the time, which he tried to be and is succeeded through most of his career.
>> i think garrison nelson is going to sign copies of his book after the program and there will be in opportunity to speak to him directly, so ask you to join me in thanking our speakers this evening. [applause]. now, we will be right out in the lobby. thank you very much. >> get the book and read it. i recommend it very much. [inaudible conversations] >> you are watching book tv on c-span2, television for serious readers. here's our primetime lineup. tonight at 7:00 p.m. eastern, kate harding lead a discussion
with feminist writers on that election on donald trump. @8:30 p.m. we sit down with michael shermer to talk about his book "skeptic" egg selection of his columns gone back to 2001 on afterwards at 9:00 p.m., former fox news host gretchen carlson discusses sexual harassment in the workplace with sally quinn of the "washington post" and at 10:00 p.m. doug stanton looks at the vietnam war's offensive through the eyes of 40 minute the u.s. army's echo company. we wrap up our primetime programmingat 11:15 p.m. eastern with hillary clinton. she sits down to talk about the 2016 presidential campaign and election. that happens tonight on c-span twos book tv. >> secretary clinton in the book, what happened-- "what happened". let's begin election night and you're at the first warning sign